Fantasy Baseball Sleepers 2012: Unheralded Players You Need on Your Radar

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IApril 1, 2012

JUPITER, FL - MARCH 12:  Jason Heyward #22 of the Atlanta Braves bats against the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium during a preseason game on March 12, 2012 in Jupiter, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Marc Serota/Getty Images

Here are three players that are going to be drafted much lower than their production is going to merit. They all have potential and are ready for big years. 

This will lead to them being prized possessions next season, but, in the meantime, they can be had on the cheap. Take one or all of these guys, and you will have your competitors looking at your roster with jealousy in their hearts. 


Jason Heyward, OF, Braves

Heyward had a miserable season as he suffered through a dramatic sophomore slump. 

His batting average plummeted 50 points from .277 to .227. He also only mashed 14 home runs last year.

This was not all about a slump, though. Heward struggled with injuries and ended up 124 less at-bats. Now he is healthy and has two years of big league experience under his belt. He is ready to start living up to the potential that had spectators marveling at him during his rookie season. 

Heyward has a sweet and powerful swing, and way too much talent to continue to struggle. He will finish with an average over .265 and belt more than 30 home runs. 


Eric Hosmer, 1B, Royals

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 23:  Eric Hosmer #35 of the Kansas City Royals points to the crowd after hitting a solo home run during the second inning against the Chicago White Sox at U. S. Cellular Field on September 23, 2011 in Chicago.   (Photo by Brian Ker
Brian Kersey/Getty Images

Hosmer is just 22, and he has star written all over him. He began last season in Triple-A, but wasted no time adjusting once he got the call-up. 

He finished batting .293 while driving in 78 runs and belting 18 homers. Those numbers will dramatically improve now that he has had time to acclimate to the majors and will have a full season under his belt. 

Hosmer had a fantastic spring training, and will be a consistent producer. This comes from his excellent bat control and plate coverage. Hosmer is going to put a lot of balls in play and many of those will be hit with power. 

A .300 average with 25 home runs this season is a realistic expectation.  


Javy Guerra, RP, Dodgers

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 10: Javy Guerra #54 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the San Francisco Giants in the ninth inning during an MLB baseball game at AT&T Park on September 10, 2011 in San Francisco, California. The Dodgers won the game
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Guerra is a consistent pitcher that will get plenty of save opportunities this season. He took over the Dodgers' closing role last season and produced. 

He went 17-of-19 in save opportunities. And he did that by posting a 1.02 WHIP and a 2.30 ERA.

Guerra does not rely on strike outs to get outs. He can be expected to get between seven and eight per nine innings. He will also tally plenty of saves and have a low ERA to go with it.